Page 3, 21st April 1944

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Page 3, 21st April 1944 — Mysticism
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Mysticism

He did not move with the times

The Incarnation of the Word of God. Being the Treatise of St. Athanasius' De Incarnatiane Verbi Del, newly translated by a religious of

C.S.M.V.St.Th. With an introduction by C. S. Lewis. (The Centenary Press, 5s.)

7 he Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love. By the Blessed Jan Van Ruysbioccls, translated from the Flemish by F. Sherwood Taylor, with an introduction by Joseph Bolland, S.J. (Deere Press, 35. 6d.) Reviewed by J. F. T. PRINCE

OUR first thought on reading this book is the question " Why haven't we Catholics been given much more of this before?" In praise of this splendid publication we cannot do better than quote Professor C. S. Lewis's own recommendation in which he affirms this is a good translation of a very great hook. St. Athanasius stood for the Trinitarian doctrine entire and undefiled when there was a grave risk of the civilised world slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius, into one of those " sensible," synthetic religions so strongly recommended today. The glory of St. Athanasius is that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he remains when those times, like all others, have passed away. Says Professor C. S. Lewis, " When I first opened his De Incarnations I soon discovered, by a very simple test, that I was reading a masterpiece, for only a master-mind could have written so deeply on such a subfed i with such classical lintpirlity." Would that we had more of St. AthanaSius.

1011N of Ruysbroeck was born in J 1293 in the village of that name about six miles south of Brussels. In 1304 he left the home and went to live in the house of the priest of St. Gudule hi Brussels. Thirteen years later he was ordained priest and was moved to a greater asceticism than was then demanded of the clergy of the time. For, as we read in his life, " The besetting sin of Flanders in the fourteenth century was the tote of riches. It was a rich country: and both wealth and political power were centred in the hands of the patrician merchant families, who did not scruple to oppress the artisans until they turned in bloody

revolt against their masters. The love of luxury and immodest elaboration of adornment extended to the clergy, and even to many of the religious. For Ruyshroeck, then, avarice and pride were the 1120St abhorrent sight."

We are grateful to the publishers (anti to Fr. Joseph Bolland, Sell.) for this book, an essentially helpful one to the mind and will seeking God.




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